Supports for Businesses and Community Organizations

COVID-19 Related Resources for NS Businesses
CUA continues to monitor the programs and resources being made available to businesses and community organizations in response to COVID-19. Updates to government programs are continuing to occur and we will ensure to place the most current information available on this page.

CUA Programs

  • Financial Assistance Program. Since the onset of COVID-19, our team has been working with members on a case-by-case basis to determine the best supports to help them through this period. The Financial Assistance Program provides options for businesses and organizations who have had their income affected by this situation, including access to new funds. If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 and you are a member of CUA, please reach out to your account manager to discuss your options. We are here to help.
  • Benefits for Halifax Chamber of Commerce members (website). CUA is proud to be an Affinity Partner of the Chamber. Chamber members have access to a variety of banking solutions and preferred rates, including six months of waived account package fees for new business accounts.
  • SONA Merchant Solutions (website). CUA continues to partner with SONA, a leader in payment processing solutions, to offer you easy and affordable merchant processing programs to meet today’s consumer demands. In addition to their everyday competitive pricing and tailored approach, SONA has taken the following steps to further support businesses during this period, including waiving setup fees and suspending monthly fees for e-commerce gateway. For details on SONA’s relief offerings, download their COVID-19 Merchant Survival Toolkit.
  • Support for CUA Credit Card Holders (website).CUA's credit card provider, Collabria, is committed to supporting your needs during this challenging time. If you are experiencing credit card related financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic please call their Contact Centre at 1-855-341-4643 and they will work with you to discuss how they may be able to help you.

Municipal Government Program

Halifax Regional Council approved changes to the tax system (website), including:

  • NSF Fees. Fees typically associated as the result of non-sufficient funds (NSF) have been temporarily suspended.
  • Interest Rates on Arrears. The annual interest rate charged on arrears has been decreased from 15% to 10%.

Provincial Government Programs

The Province of Nova Scotia has announced a number of programs to support businesses and community organizations. A description of each is listed below and additional information can be obtained by accessing (website).

  • Deferral of Nova Scotia Small Business Loan Guarantee Program (website). In order to provide short-term support to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, principal and interest payments were deferred until June 30, 2020 for participants. The Program remains available to qualifying businesses.
  • NS Small Business Credit and Support Program (NS Government News Release). Launched in late April, the Program supported qualifying Nova Scotia entities impacted by COVID-19 with: 1. access to credit up to $25,000 through participating credit unions; 2. a one-time non-repayable cash grant of 10% of the loan amount to a maximum of $1,500; and, 3. a Business Continuity Voucher of a maximum of $1,500 to support the acquisition of a private sector consultant for assistance in adapting or recovering from the impact of COVID-19.  Applications to the Program are now closed as the funds have been fully accessed. The Province of Nova Scotia has postponed payments of principle and interest amounts until January 1, 2021, subject to conditions. If you have questions about your financing, please contact us. The Nova Scotia Small Business Loan Guarantee Program remains available to qualifying businesses.
  • Small Business Reopening and Support Grant (website). The provincial government was providing grants of up to $5,000 to help eligible businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises reopen safely. Eligible organizations were given a business continuity voucher of up to $1,500 for advice and services to help their business become more resilient. Applications were due by July 17, 2020 and questions can be directed to OpenSafeResilient@novascotia.ca.

Federal Government Programs

The Federal Government has announced a number of programs to support businesses and community organizations. A description of each is listed below and additional information can be obtained by accessing (website).

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (website). Helping businesses keep and return workers to their payroll by providing a 75% wage subsidy (to a max of $847 weekly) to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020. Eligibility is determined by a demonstrated drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March, and 30% in April and May as compared to the same timeframe in 2019 or to the average monthly revenue for January and February 2020. Eligible employers can apply through CRA’s My Business Account portal.
    • September 2020: The Government of Canada has announced the Wage Subsidy will be extended until mid-2021. More details will be provided when available. 
  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) (website). The Program will provide additional support to businesses including small and medium-sized enterprises with viable business models whose access to financing would otherwise be restricted. The Program is administered through Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). The BCAP is currently available and interested businesses can access application details through their financial institution.
  • Deferred income tax (website). The CRA further extended the payment due date for 2019 individual tax returns and 2019 or 2020 corporation, or trust returns, as well as for instalment payments, from September 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020.
  • Deferred tax arrears interest (website). The CRA waived arrears interest on existing tax debts related to individual, corporation, and trust income tax returns from April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020 and from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020, for GST/HST returns.
  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) (website). The CEBA is an interest-free loan of $40,000 for qualifying businesses and not-for-profits. Up to $10,000 of that amount will be eligible for complete forgiveness if $30,000 is fully repaid on or before December 31, 2022. The loan is interest free and no principal repayments are required during this period unless you are seeking to repay 75% to qualify for the 25% forgiveness feature. If not repaid by this date, it can be converted into a three-year term loan. Learn more and access the CEBA application process »
  • Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) (website). The Government of Canada has provided additional support for small and medium-sized businesses experiencing financial hardship. This support is distributed by Canada’s regional development agencies, including $110 million allocated to Atlantic Canada through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Atlantic Association of Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs). To be eligible, businesses must have applied for other federal relief measures and were not been able to secure funds, or have accessed relief measures and continue to experience hardship. RRRF contributions are repayable as of January 1, 2023. Additional details, as well as an online application, can be accessed via the program website.
  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) (website) This program will lower rent by 75% for small businesses, non-profits and charitable organizations that have been impacted by COVID-19. It offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to cover 50% of three months of rent payable by eligible tenants experiencing financial hardship during April, May and June. The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce tenants’ rent by at least 75% for the three months under a rent forgiveness agreement that includes a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The tenant will cover the remaining rent, up to 25%. Impacted tenants are those paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or experienced at least a 70% drop from pre-COVID-19 revenues. Applications are available on the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s website.

Halifax Partnership Resources

  • Halifax Partnership’s Program Assessment Tool (website). The Halifax Partnership has created an easy-to-use Program Assessment Tool that helps you navigate the funding and support programs available to your business and employees. The tool can assist you in determining which programs you are eligible for and provides guidance on how to access them.
  • Virtual Advisor Program (website). This free program, offered in partnership with BoomersPlus.com, will match 25 qualified companies with an advisor to help them manage and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Businesses can apply through the Partnership’s website.
  • Connector Program (website). This program provides businesses access to a pool of individuals looking for employment, while also matching employers to people looking for work in their sector. An online portal for both businesses and workers has been developed and can be found on the Partnership’s website.
If you have questions about the available programs and the best solution to meet your unique needs, please reach out to us at 902-492-6500. You can also send us a message using our online submission form and we will respond to you within 24 hours.
 

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